Mariners to control new regional sports network
The Mariners and DIRECTV Sports Network announced the formation of a new regional sports television partnership on Tuesday that will give the baseball team a controlling interest in the year-round broadcast network.
DIRECTV Sports Network is the Mariners’ long-standing television rights holder, but the team will now hold a majority stake in the new venture.
The regional sports network will continue to operate under the ROOT Sports brand and will provide year-round coverage of the Mariners as well as other professional, college and high school sports programming.
The agreement provides that the network will televise the Mariners through the 2030 season.
DIRECTV Sports Networks, which owns and operates two other regional sports networks based in Denver and Pittsburgh, assumes a minority position and will continue to oversee management of the Northwest network.
“This is great news for the Mariners and for sports fans in the Northwest,” said Bob Aylward, Mariners executive vice president of business operations. “We are excited to continue our partnership with DIRECTV Sports Networks in this new way.
“We are investing to own a majority share of the new venture, and committing our rights well into the future, confident that this will maximize the value of our television rights and, more importantly, provide the resources to remain competitive on the field for many years to come.”
Steve Greenberg, a member of the New York investment bank Allen & Company that advised the Mariners on the transaction, said the move will help the club compete in the evolving Major League landscape.
“With the formation of this new regional sports network partnership, the Mariners have taken a significant step forward,” Greenberg said. “MLB clubs that own a substantial stake in their own RSN’s tend to be among the strongest and most stable franchises in the league.”